PNG court sentences five men to death for murder

Updated at 1:22 pm on 15 July 2011

The National Court in Papua New Guinea's East New Britain provincial capital, Kokopo, has sentenced five men to death by hanging for willful murder.

This is in relation to the murder of eight people, in a boat in the Duke of York Islands in September 2007.

The newspaper, The National, says the five men are Gregory Kiapkot, Martin Bigit, Tovung Paraide, Peter Taul, and Botchia Agenia, all of East New Britain.

They had pleaded not guilty to eight counts each of willful murder, but the court found them guilty in April.

The judge had reserved the penalty, to get statements from community leaders.

The five have 40 days to appeal the sentence.

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